BEST USE OF TAXPAYER DOLLARS (2001)
Some wise person once said that public schools are the hothouses of a city. This holds true in Minneapolis, anyway, where, beginning each October, January, and April, our schools play host to hundreds of continuing-education programs, classes that bring together citizens curious about, say, Appalachian basketry, or sushi rolling. We kid you not. In truly democratic fashion, subjects include virtually anything anyone could be interested in, from obscure crafts to favorites like foreign languages, yoga, tango lessons, bird watching, and parenting (through the Early Childhood Family Education program). Classes are held mostly at area schools, range from one to eight weeks in duration, and generally cost between $15 and $25 (cooking classes usually include a small fee for ingredients). This could be the year you finally learn Japanese, try belly dancing, or take up the mandolin. We can't think of a better way to spend our time, or to invest the municipal dime.